"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Stupid in America: How We Are Cheating Our Kids

This year, the United States will spend about $500 billion dollars, that’s one-half Trillion dollars, on elementary and secondary public education. The United States spends more per student than any country in the world and New Jersey spends more per student that any state in the nation. So you would think New Jersey's students would compare favorably to students anywhere in the world, right? Wrong!

Tonight John Stossel will host an ABC News special at 10 pm called "Stupid in America: How We Are Cheating Our Kids."

From today’s Political Diary from Opinion Journal (subscription required):

Stossel takes his cameras overseas to reveal how other countries are using choice and competition to better educate their young people. As an illustration, he gave identical tests to high school students in New Jersey and Belgium. The Jersey students were from an above-average school whose test scores were significantly better than those at most U.S. schools. Yet the scores of the Belgian kids were vastly superior.

"It has to be something with the school," a New Jersey student told Mr. Stossel after seeing the test results, "because I don't think we're stupider."

At age 10, U.S. students place a respectable eighth on a standardized test used in two dozen countries, scoring well in all categories. By age 15, however, on a test used by 40 countries, Americans place 25th, well below the international average. "In other words, the longer American kids stay in American schools, the worse they do," Mr. Stossel concludes. "They do worse than kids from much poorer countries, like Korea and Poland."

Mr. Stossel's TV special puts the blame squarely on the U.S. public education monopoly.



3 Comments:

At 8:14 PM, Blogger WjcW said...

There's hope though. The BOE in Houston is the largest district to date to offer teachers a $3000 bonus to those whose classes meet testing benchmarks. Of course the union is against the incentives, the quote I read from an art teacher went something like "Any time you divide up the teachers, it's a bad thing."
At least the rest of the county can look at Houston and see if the bonus incentive makes a difference.

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Maybe it will make a difference, but it might not be positive. Because kids in Houston start scoring higher on standardized tests doesn't mean that they'll start succeeding in the areas that matter, such as drop out rates, percentage of kids going to college etc. The tests are very narrow and very possible to study for. Teachers that spend time teaching their students testing techniques might be the ones getting the raises.

- Jersey Perspective

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger IceNeedle said...

Geez.. I like the way the consideration is made on the teachers. It just HAS to be the teachers that are the problem here right?

Has anyone considered its perhaps the parents and the students are the problem. Consider the following, if a child does not get an A, the parents come out in droves because their little bratty Johnny or Mary will now not get into Harvard or Yale. So the administration caves in, the kids gets an A. Of course the kid, was was a pain in the class to begin with. Didn't care about listening in class, let alone take books home to study. Oh and of course if the parents are going on vacation during the school year, that is far more important to take the kid to go on vacation rather than stay in school.

Sure kids are not dumber, just they get so distracted they don't care.

 

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